A torn rotator cuff is one of the more common injuries for which adults seek medical attention due to the chronic shoulder pain it causes. This condition may refer to either a partial or full-thickness tear of one of the rotator cuff tendons that normally attaches to the head of the upper arm bone. Such injuries can occur from an acute event (such as when a shoulder joint is dislocated in a fall or traumatic incident) or from a degenerative process associated with overuse (as occurs in many sports), insufficient blood supply (a result of aging) or bone spurs. Typical symptoms of a torn rotator cuff include shoulder pain that occurs when you raise or rotate your arm and persists even when you are at rest; shoulder weakness; and crunching sounds or sensations when moving the shoulder joint. Left untreated, a torn rotator cuff can worsen with increased tearing over time. Nonsurgical treatment options can include rest, avoidance of the activity that caused the injury, targeted exercises and physical rehabilitation, NSAID medications and steroid injections. In severe cases where pain persists after more conservative methods have been tried, surgical repair of the tendon may be considered.